Arby's announced today that they'll be serving '100% all-natural chicken' in an effort to serve "chicken that truly tastes like chicken" with "the first and only complete product line made with all-natural chicken" in the fast food industry. They will promote their 'natural chicken' line with TV ads featuring comedienne Joan Rivers and wrestler Hulk Hogan.
In their press release, Arby's uses the following line to prove its chicken is more natural than its competitors: "Other leading fast food companies offer chicken breast sandwiches with up to 29.3 percent of solutions made of various elements including water, seasoning (salt, spices and spice extract), oil, modified food starch, sodium phosphates." That list of ingredients is lifted exactly from McDonald's ingredients listing for their chicken breast fillet.
But Arby's never explicitly states that their chicken is completely free of these other ingredients other than describing it as "100% all-natural chicken." I wasn't convinced so I referred to Arby's own ingredients listing and found this: "Arby's Natural Chicken Tenders: Seasoned with salt, hydrolyzed corn and soy protein, flavor contains less than 2% (autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, enzyme modified egg yolk, thiamine hydrochloride)."
That doesn't sound like 100% all-natural chicken to me!
For the sake of comparison, I've listed the ingredients for Wendy's and Burger King's chicken below (McDonald's is above, exactly as it appeared in Arby's press release, and by the way, I've got to say that it is 'enlightening' to know that McDonald's chicken is only 70.7% chicken!)
Wendy's: Chicken Breast with Rib Meat: water, modified potato starch, seasoning (salt, flavor, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, contains less than 2% of citric acid, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, chicken broth, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, soy sauce solids. [wheat, soybeans, salt], yeast extract), sodium phosphate.
Burger King: Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Spices, Natural Flavors, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors.), Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Salt, Sodium Phosphates.